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He grew up in Onset, spent most of his life there, and loved being on the fire department.
A photograph showed him already wearing a fire helmet at age 2. His dad was a member
and officer of the Onset FD and young Howie grew up around the fire house.
He officially joined the fire department when he was 15 and was a member for
43 years, essentially all of his life. He served with the DCR, the Otis Fire Department,
and the Wareham Fire Department as well, but Onset was home.
For the past 16 years he was the Fire Chief and in that role provided
the leadership and friendship that so many came to respect and treasure.
Chief Howard B Anderson fought cancer with courage and determination
but on October 4, 2013 his flame went out. Surrounded by family and
many of his closest friends he peacefully left Onset
in the hands of those he taught and loved.
Chief Andersen was
remembered on October 11 and 12 with many fond
stories, reflections about his humor, love of coffee, and dedication to
his family, community, and the fire department he so loved.
One of his more common
expressions was "10-4."
The fact that he passed away on the morning of "10-4"
will be forever part of the story.
ONSET FIRE CHIEF
HOWARD B. "HOWIE" ANDERSEN